Indian restaurant chefs in Bexley leading the way in creativity
PUBLISHED: 11:47 02 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:47 02 January 2014
The standard of curries here is so high these days that chefs back in Asia are learning from Britain.
That’s the claim by Syed Ahmed, editor of Curry Life magazine, after he took a team of Anglo-Indian chefs to India.
“Curry originated in India,” he said, “but British curries are quite different – people are very curious about them.”
Mokabbir Khan runs Curry Mahal in Station Road, Sidcup. One of the restaurant’s chefs was voted among Britain’s best at the magazine’s 2013 Curry Chef of the Year awards.
“British chefs have become highly appreciated by the chefs back home,” said Mr Khan, 52. “They are more creative and likely to invent something new.”
His chef, Sayful Alom, 42, who won an Award of Excellence, partly owes his award to his creativity.
Mr Khan said: “Most people cook chicken tikka masala, in a traditional way but he doesn’t. He doesn’t use any artificial colours – instead, he uses fresh strawberries.”
This adds colour to the rich red curry.
“This secret strawberry recipe is very different from anywhere else,” Mr Kahn added. “Ninety-nine per cent of customers give him the thumbs-up.”
However, Mr Kahn says that it is not just the food that makes the restaurant so extraordinary – it’s the service, too.
“It’s not only our profession; it’s our pleasure,” he said. “We treat every customer as our guest.”
This close relationship was exemplified when Mr Khan took some of his regular customers to the awards ceremony where a seat cost £150.
“Our customers had drinks supplied for the whole night,” he said.
“They enjoyed it so much they forgot to go to work the next day!”